That time (three minutes ago) when I didn’t know my book was on Amazon

imageAs most of you know, I am a marketing and promotional genius — at least when compared to the release of Beyonce’s latest album. In fact, my avoidance of the typical hype that surrounds a book promotion has been so effective that, until three minutes ago, even I didn’t know my book had become available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

imageNaturally, this is all part of my calculated effort as a marketing genius to appear aloof and disinterested, therefore creating such an aura of mystery about myself and the book that people can’t stop asking the question:

Do you think Chris Harrison is ever going to be The Bachelor?

This is a marketing strategy designed to build momentum over a longer period, therefore sustaining interest. In fact, if my calculations are correct — and they always are regardless of what my sixth-grade teacher said — my current rate of marketing momentum should reach full speed at some point during my eulogy. I should point out this approach is contrary to the “sudden explosion of excitement” strategy which, as we all know, often leads to a sudden drop in performance.

So what does this mean exactly? (Other than the obvious, which is the potential for a male enhancement endorsement deal.) It means copies of Humor at the Speed of Life are available beyond the scope of my publisher and at the front desk of Siuslaw News. Because of this, I would appreciate anyone who has purchased a copy to take a moment — such as during your drive to work — to visit Amazon Books and/or Barnes and Noble to rate or review it.

I know what some of you are thinking:

“But Ned, what if I haven’t purchased a copy because I’m saving up for cosmetic surgery. However, I really enjoy your blog, just not as much as enlarging my [insert area of anatomy here]?”

I dont mean to brag, but my book is just like my blog — only much, much bigger. Based on that assumption, feel free to rate and/or review it at this Amazon link or at this Barnes & Nobel link.

All kidding aside, I want to thank every one of you for your incredible encouragement, support and endless laughs through your comments and Tweets. When I started this blog a little more than a year ago, I had no intention of publishing a book; you made me think otherwise. So I guess what I’m saying is:

It’s all your fault 😉

And thank you for that.

(Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

91 thoughts on “That time (three minutes ago) when I didn’t know my book was on Amazon”

    1. I can’t take this kind of PRESSURE!

      Actually, there will be one available, but probably not for a couple of months. In the interim, I am offering a compromise in which I call people and read chapters over the phone at bed time. You know, in case they are having trouble sleeping…

  1. Geeeesh, Ned! And I thought I was clueless! Of course, I only published my book in Kindle format (at first), so not knowing it was up on amazon was a real blunder on my part! 😯 Seriously, I saw your book there, but ordered through your publisher because I wanted that racy personal note from you! 😉

    Now you just let me know if you have questions about anything else in your life. Just ask Granny M. (Motto: If I don’t know the answer, I’ll make one up, because if you knew the difference, you wouldn’t be asking me in the first place.)

    Waiting for my copy of HATSOL, even as I type. Waiting….waiting……………….

  2. thanks, i’d like to think i had everything to do with your success. in advance. i’ll be ordering from b&n and happy to give you a review. good news, now you’re in the big league. do you have mascot?

    1. I will make sure to mention your enormous contribution in my eulogy. Contribution to the book I mean, not my death. And as for a mascot, there’s a position open, as long as you can make a human pyramid on your own…

  3. LOL! I just checked my reader and found your post was six minutes before mine. We are both marketing geniuses – but you really know how to write ads. 😉 I want your book! I’ll be buying the ebook when it’s available. In the meantime, I see your offer to Carrie. I’ll take that. Call me at bedtime. Here’s my number: BR-549

    1. I thought the very same thing when I read you post 🙂 I had to laugh! Great minds and all that…

      I’ll call you now that I have the right number; I’ve been calling 876-5309…

      1. Well, the number you were calling was much sexier for sure! 😉

        I published two book recently. One on Christmas Day and one on New Year’s Day. Other than my blog and a couple of mentions here or there, I did nothing to promote them! No launch party, no fanfare, nada. I’m determined to get over my fear of marketing this year.

        1. First off, congratulations on those publications! It’s like giving birth, and with those babies so close apart, you have done well to survive 😉 Though my column is a syndicated feature, this is my first book publication. Dealing with the ins and outs, advantages/disadvantages of having a publisher are things I’m still learning. I don’t have a fear of marketing so much as a limited knowledge. There is an advantage of having a built-in readership through my column, but tying the social media aspect together with it is something I’m still learning. I have a friend who markets books for authors for a living (, and she is going to give me some insight. Whatever I pick up, I’d be happy to pass along to you 😉

  4. For the love of God…did my my plastic surgeon give out my enormous measurements?

    Damn hippa.

    $21.9? That’s a steal Ned!

    If I order amazon…I would prefer mine to be clone delivered plz. And if it’s not here in 30 min or less does that mean I get a free pizza?

    1. If it’s not there in 30 minutes, you can keep the clone but please send back the pizza. The book is optional.

      Hey, if you order it from the publisher I can actually sign it before it goes out. The book, not the pizza… Just sayin’ 😉

      1. SHUT UP!

        like would you kindly apply some lipstick or blistex , even Vaseline would do…and kiss the inside cover ..say…um 3x a charm?

        You know, sign it with your lips?
        And then your signature?

        1. Were’s talking about the book, right? Not the pizza? Either way, consider it done 😉 Just leave a note in the message box and I will make sure it gets to you 😉

          1. … I have to pay extra for my own msg?

            I mean as much as I keep that twit roll going…crap…I coulda done all this on the roll…coulda woulda shoulda…

            Why YES NED…yes I meant the pizza. I meant the book. The book!

            1. I’d be happy to write a personal message in Blistex, Lisa. If you get it through Port Hole Publications, they can flag a copy for me to sign before it goes out, unlike Amazon or B&N. I’ve done several like that already. But without the Blistex…

  5. And if it turns out you don’t like the book, you can easily recycle it as those breast/lip/butt implants you were angling for.

    Just your little way of keeping abreast (maybe two) of what’s happening in the Pacific Northwest and a chance to thank Ned for his support.

    1. That’s so truth, Randy, and a perfect example of the amazing support I have come to expect from readers like you. And just to clarify, using the books for breast/buttocks implants is already becoming extremely popular with fans of Mindcraft…

  6. A big fat congratulations, and I get right on that review… as soon as I finish drying my hair.

    Oh, and did you mean to say “every” in this sentence: “Do you think Chris Harris is every going to be The Bachelor?” Just the editor in me.

  7. Serious question here Mr Ned. Is the link to Porthole (on your blog) your publisher? Being in Oz I need to weigh up the shipping costs lol
    And how much extra would your signature weigh?

    1. Hiya, Suz 😉

      The book icon on the far right of the blog (below the RX box) is a link to Port Hole. Just click on the book cover icon. If you order through there, and specify that you’d like a personal signature, they will flag it and notify me. There’s no extra cost. I’m not aware of any extra cost to ship out of the U.S. — I believe they have a special rate because of their volume…?

      Let me know what you find out and, one way or another, I’ll figure out a way to make it happen 😉

      1. All ordered 🙂 I told them that you said you’d sign it for me 😉 I should have told them what I wanted written! 😛 We should negotiate on that lol
        There is an extra cost for shipping (I sort of expected that). They are getting back to me with an adjusted invoice because it went through with the normal shipping price on checkout. (Just putting the information out there in case you get others from OS who may wish to know). The cost of shipping isn’t exorbitant at all thank goodness. (Unlike an organisation that I am hoping to order CDs from that want almost $40 for shipping to Oz).

        Have a good one.

        1. They called me about an hour ago and let me know there was an order requesting me to personalize it. I asked who it was and that told me it was YOU 😉 (Actually, they said your name, not “you”). They’re bringing it by the newspaper office tomorrow and will hopefully have it in the mail to you by tomorrow afternoon. Thanks so much, Suz! If you aren’t satisfied, there is a money-back guarantee of sorts.

          You like Cheetos, right? 😉

          1. Woo hoo!!!! Thank you so much Ned. Cheetos is the exact answer I was looking for on some game my daughter downloaded onto my iPad. (Since I don’t live in the U.S. I had no idea what the answer was). That is just toooo dang funny…. 😀 rofl

              1. Yep. Awesome! Fate is kind. 🙂
                I just had a thought – you know in relation to advertising your book. I have a series I’m running this month on my blog called “Fellow Blogger” where I ask questions about blogging and you answer them. If you’re interested I have some spots left for this month.
                Swing by my blog and read the ones I’ve done so far if you wish
                Just a thought 🙂

                1. Hey Suz!

                  I was just getting ready to write and let you know I signed your copy of HATSOL last night when — viola! — I saw your comment! And I wasn’t even having Cheetos! I read through several of your “Fellow Blogger” posts this morning, as well as all the awards you received. Well done, on all counts 😉

                  Also, I think I’d enjoy ending up on your coach, so you let me know what works best for you and I’ll do my best to answer your questions without traumatizing you or your readers. But no guarantees… 🙂

  8. So pleased for you, Ned. 😀

    And when I say pleased what I really mean is jealous of your marketing skills … they are much better than my own which are presently non-existent. 😦

    1. Thanks, Angela 🙂 There’s a huge learning curve, and I’m figuring things out as I go. Kind of like a blind man in a brothel — excited by the prospect but never too sure if I’ve made the right choice 😉

      1. Strangely I know nothing about brothels but you realise the same principle can apply to marriage. 😉

        (My old man has sought sanctuary in his studio so I am at liberty to write that).

          1. “Mariel Basurco, a customer just told us your review was helpful to them while shopping on Amazon.

            Humor at the Speed of Life

            Humor at the Speed of Life

            5.0 out of 5 stars

            If you want to Laugh, You Need this book!
            January 9, 2014”

            Just wanted to let you know 😀

              1. Lol! I’m not sure! But I think I might have to look into it. I was so happy when I got that e-mail 🙂
                …I just realized that this is the first time I use my last name, lol. I’m not used to seeing it online

                1. I have to confess, I saw it come up on my Facebook page the other day. I recognized you right away, and when I saw your name I felt like I had just discovered a new element! Your secret is safe with me 😉 But please don’t ever marry a mobster…

                2. LOL! I felt the same way when I saw you! *happy sigh* how lovely! I tend to stay away from my last name… not sure if I will keep it, like the cooky salmon that I am swimming up stream I might change it, haha, who knows! I won’t marry a mobster, promise 😉 But I did go out with a big time drug dealer once and I didn’t know it!! He was so sweet to me! But I started to question when he kept showing up with lots and lots of money…

                3. I remember that post! And it’s a beautiful name — I wouldn’t change it. Unless you go into the Witness Protection Program to testify against that drug dealer 😉

                4. You know, you can really sway someone, lol. I forgot I had written about that! Oh, the men I dated… they’re probably doing hard time, or in a holding cell holding their saggy balls.

  9. Dear Ned,
    I was going to use all my savings to buy gel for my nostrils, but I pushed that back till next year in favor of your book. Question, is there also an E-book version available? Or will there be?

    1. Dear Gel,

      There will be an ebook version available, but probably not for a couple of months. As I told someone else, until the ebook is available, I can call each night at bed time and read a chapter to help you fall asleep…

      1. Wow, you really are good at marketing. It’s not like Beyonce offers people to call them and sing them to sleep…
        In all honesty, my finances currently make buying gel an investment rather than a purchase, but I expect that to situation to be over by mid February at the latest. Will ‘invest’ in your book then and certainly write a review on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I am looking forward to it, which says a lot, because I generally don’t like reading books so much;) But I do enjoy your blog a lot (probably more than your neighbors I figure).

        1. She actually tried it, but they hung up on her so she stopped offering.

          And given the choice between gel and a book, I’d definitely stick with the gel… get it? “Stick…” hahahah

          Hmmmm. Upon further consideration, I’ll understand if you put off that February investment until July. Maybe even of this year…

          1. That was an awesome joke. Please tell me your book consists of nothing but jokes like that!

            In fact, the reason for wanting to by your book is twofold: I enjoy your blog and expect to enjoy your book, but I’m also thinking of/sketching/tentatively writing an ebook of my own, so I’m curious to see how your book writing relates to your blog writing. (I intend to write an ‘autobiography’ for Basil the Roswell Alien, but don’t worry, it won’t be entitled ‘Humor at the Speed of Light’;)) So in that sense it is an investment for me as well.

            Don’t expect to finish it before year’s end, though, but I figure your book can offer some inspiration, if only for the fact you wrote, finished and published yours!

            1. Arend, I think your idea for “Humor at Alien Lightspeed” is a terrific one. I love Basil the Roswell Alien. The observations are always clever, funny and often with an underlying social message — good or bad.

              As for my book, I should explain that it is essentially a collection of my columns over the last 15 years, divided among six categories (or chapters), with an introduction and closing chapter at the beginning and end of the book. My goal was to put something together that people could get some laughs from at their own pace, depending on how many columns they have time to read while waiting for their kids’ soccer practice to end, between appointments, sitting on the can… you get the idea. I already have plans for another book, which would be a more traditional format.

              This book was a way to provide some laughs, get my work out there in a different format, and hopefully continue to expand my readership in preparation for my next book: Basil the Illegal Alien from Outer Space… 😉

              1. Well, consider my curiosity fueled (even more)!
                Thanks for the incentive. Will let you know when Basil goes public with his debut…but like I said, it’ll take him quite some time. He may even will want to read ‘Basil the Illegal Alien from Outer Space…’ first;)

  10. You know we could be saving up to reduce [name part of anatomy here]. That’s expensive too!

    I’ll get around to it. Promise.
    Can you write a post “How to write a book review ” for your Gliterary Girl column?

    1. Tell me about it! I finally decided it was too expensive to have my…

      It doesn’t really matter. I just want you to know I understand what you’re saying.

      And that sounds like a great topic actually. I will put it on my list, Laura — thank you 😉

      1. Selfish motivation, actually. If you wrote a post called How to write a book review and why you should, I could re-post it (w/ your permission of course) on my site when my book comes out in May.

    1. I really appreciate the kind words, GG. I’m a big fan of your writing as well; your visual style and honesty are always compelling. Thank you for reading 😉

  11. OK, as per your intrepid instructions above, my review has just gone live at Amazon (I’m J Henry)…I’m not saving for cosmetic surgery, I’m just cheap. But your writing is so funny I may actually HAVE to buy the book…

  12. On 12/8, I got a message from your publisher that they were waiting for shipment of your book. That is the last I heard. From this post, I’m thinking I should have heard by now. Would it be OK if I just got it from Amazon? (I should have taken you up on your offer to read it to my husband over the phone if it didn’t arrive by Christmas. 🙂 )

    1. I know the book didn’t become available until Dec. 31, much like Jesus, so it’s probably in the mail if you placed the order (not like Jesus). If not, you could order from Amazon. But if you order it from Port Hole Publications the copies are signed. But not by Jesus…

      And my offer still stands, depending on your phone service provider 😉

  13. I honestly don’t understand how you could make something … boring — no offense, I’m freaking seventeen, I find everything boring — so interesting. You’re hilarious.

No one is watching, I swear...

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